UMAG, July 17, 2017 (Press Release)
This year, the tournament in Umag offered another novelty – their cooperation with ATP, as part of which Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag will be promoting the NextGen players. Those are young, up-and-coming stars of the international tennis that should one day replace the current rulers, the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Đoković, among others.
“It is our honor and privilege to have the future of our sport right here in Umag, and to already be developing relations with them. Hopefully, they will be back here even once they join the world’s very best”, Ronald Korotaj, chairman of the Organizing Committee, stated.
Tournament director Lawrence Frankopan was pleased to introduce three players from this generation of 23-and-under players competing this year in Umag: Borna Ćorić, Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Australia’s Marc Polmans.
The three of them are candidates for the NextGen ATP Finals, which will debut in Milan, Italy, in November. Using the traditional season-ending top-eight competition as their model, the ATP decided to organize a similar competition for tennis players aged 23 and under.
“I believe it’s a good thing and can give us additional motivation all through the year. Milan will be an opportunity for us to show and prove ourselves among our peers on the big stage”, Polmans explained.
Special rules will apply for the NextGen Finals: first to four games sets, and no lets or advantage scoring (the next player to win a point wins the game). Plus, a shot clock will be used in between points to ensure that the time between the end of one point and the time the ball is served for the next point does not exceed 20 seconds.
“It will be interesting to see all that. Well, perhaps not so much for me as I like to take time between points”, Borna Ćorić added.
As part of this promotion focusing on young players, the Grand Stand Court has been renamed to Next Gen Arena to fit the occasion.